Thursday, May 18, 2017

Give ear to our Words, O Manos.

O Manos... thou of primal darkness! Thou who dwelleth in the depth of the universe in the black chasms of night! Thou who bestoweth the mother darkness upon thy faithful, to live eternally in her keeping. Thou dost make him most blessed forever! And thou who dost cursed with eternal burning life those whom transgress against thee! Holy art thou, holy art thou, holy art thou! Manos will be done! Thy priesthood remains steadfast, thy priesthood remains constant, thy priesthood remains righteous. Thou hast taught us, O Manos, and we hath listened. Give ear to our words, O Manos, and hear us! Hear us! Hear us! For we are faithful and thou art our God.
This was the monologue my dad aka Tom Neyman aka The Master in Manos: The Hands of Fate, spoke in the film. Although the script was written and the film directed by Hal Warren, dad wrote this monologue because, as he told me "In the original script Hal had me just standing that whole time with my arms spread out to show the robe. I wrote that so I would have more to do"
This leads me to the conclusion that Manos could have been worse, but the thing that strikes me more than that is a post shared by a fan who listens to this Manos prayer in times of challenge to lift him up.

Tom Neyman went to Seminary at TCU and was a youth pastor until he left the Disciples of Christ Church in 1963 and head for El Paso when I was 4 years old. I think my dad would be just stunned to know his seminary training helped someone so many years later. It blows my mind.
It Is The Will Of Manos!

Other than not having enough dialogue in the script, dad had plenty to do to help Hal make the movie dream come true, accepting charge of the sets, props, costumes, artwork,the kid and the dog. Everyone had plenty to do, and did do it for a promise of reimbursement, payment and possible future fame. We did not see payment or reimbursement and dad never was returned The Masters robe mom made or the Master and Dog painting he had painted. Hal kept those and passed them down to one of his children.

It is for certain not one of us could have imagined the form fame would eventually take.

After the premiere of Manos: The Hands of Fate, all who had been involved, scattered for good reason, and very little was spoken about it as everyone went on with their lives.  As an impressionable and observant kid, the film was very important to me because it was something my dad and I did together. It was special, then it was over and it was gone. I cherished the memories and as I got older began searching for the film without success.  Years after I had given up, Mystery Science Theater 3000 played it on January 30th 1993 on Comedy Central,  The Master happened to be watching from his easy chair on the Oregon Coast and got to see it the first time it aired.

To me, The Spirit of Manos evolved initially in the "getting through it" approach people took.  It became a badge of honor and something to share with friends.  It became a way to recognize others from the same tribe of Ironics and Msties.

For many years, Mystery Science Theater was the only way it could be viewed, and most felt it was the only way possible to even want to view it.  The fact it had always been in public domain due to the film not having a copyright, is the only way MST could have screened it, and because of that, it was allowed to become known.

In 2011 Ben Solovey had bought the original Manos work print in an Ebay auction, successfully raising Kickstarter funding to restore it.  Subsequent public screenings of the Restoration then gave me opportunity to attend a few events and talk Manos with fans as one of few surviving original cast members.

About this time is when the trouble started.

The son who boasted in Playboy Magazine that he had the painting on his wall and wears the Masters robe at Halloween began claiming he had a valid copyright on the film and demanded licensing and his permission for anything Manos related that I may want to do.  It became an email battle where I kept asking for proof that never came.  Other Manos inspired projects created by others fell under fire too, adding stress, no resolution and no compromise.  Time passed.

Now, the same son has applied for and been granted Trademark of the title Manos The Hands of Fate. We have kept close tabs on this and are taking every proper step to oppose the trademark final approval.

Why?  Because in his own words, Hal Warren's son refers to Manos inspired project as "tacky projects" which he intends to either demand "cease and desist", or payment in the form of licensing.  Those of us who are inspired enough to create Manos inspired projects are "money grubbers" and he intends to do something about it.  I believe he is over reaching on what a trademark will actually grant but I am quite certain it would be used as leverage to persuade. I also feel reasonably certain that much of the joy many of us get from Manos would be dimmed by all the dissension and negativity.  Time is very short to stop this from happening.  Once the final date arrives, it will be done unless we take action now.

We have filed a 90 day extention that will give time to prepare the opposition and file in time but we need your help.

Ben Solovey and I have a GoFundMe in place to fund the Legal Defense to  #KeepManosFree for all our enjoyment and inspiration.  Please go now and make a donation.  Every bit counts!

Legal Defense of Fate

Thank you and Manos Blessings.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Year of Manos

So much has happened in the Manos world in just the last year and few months.

 My new book Growing Up With Manos The Hands Of Fate. How I was the child star of the worst movie ever and lived to tell the story co authored by Laura Mazzuca Toops and forward by MST3k creator Joel Hodgson has earned five stars on Amazon. I love that readers are getting the book in just the way I intended and that they are so open and gracious with their responses to it. I am inspired and have begun my next book, "For The Love of Manos". A book of stories of love inspired by and involving Manos. It will begin with my own Manos love story. The one of my dad and I and of the opportunities Manos gave us to come together again after so many years of separation.

In May I attended Crypticon Seattle as a Special Guest for the first time as a Special Guest at any Con.  I had more fun than I could have imagined and soaked up every moment and every encounter with fans and new friends.  Cassandra Peterson /Elvira Mistress of the Dark was there as a guest also and seemed as happy to meet me as I was her although I doubt she had the geekout mental moment I did.  She loved Manos and asked a number of behind the scenes questions.

In October I drove up to Tacoma and Seattle Washington from my home in Oregon for a book signing at Comic Dungeon in Seattle and a Restoration screening and appearance at The Blue Mouse Theater

A sequel film that stars remaining living cast members of the original film, Jackey (Debbie), Tom Neyman (The Master) and Diane Mahree (Margaret). Manos Returns is currently in post production after a successful kickstarter last fall and followed by filming last summer.   Bryan Jennings, the son of the original Sheriff is also involved as an Executive Producer and is our new Sheriff. There is so much to tell of this story and will soon be a blog post unto itself.

The Chicago Music Box screened The Restoration on November 11th and invited me to attend.  The son of the Original Director of Photography Bob Guidry showed up as did original soundtrack vocalist Nicki Mathis and my co author Laura Mazucca Toops for a fun evening of greeting fans and Q and A onstage after the show.

I had a book signing scheduled at Bucket O Blood bookstore for the 13th and planned to enjoy Chicago on my day off. On the evening of the 12th, I got a terrible call from the hospital in Salem Oregon from a nurse asking me if I could call code on my father because they could reach no one else and he wasn't going to survive. She told me if she were with me, I would get a big hug and how sorry she was. It was a sleepless night and rough next day but I had a book signing to do and my dad would have been appalled if I had gone all that way and then cancelled because of him...So I went. I had little time to warn anyone other than the bookstore owners and somehow found balance and strength in the outpouring of love and support at the event. I had a Podcast also scheduled and we decided to go ahead with it and make it a tribute to dad. I am so glad we did and I hope you enjoy it.

Kickseat Podcast The Will of Manos

Mystery Science Theater held their annual Turkey Day Awards on November 24th just one day after what would have been dad's 81st birthday. Jonah Ray and Joel Hodgson announced the fans had voted and declared Manos The Hands of Fate as the All Time Fan Favorite.

Manos Returns director Tonjia Atomic, one of Manos Returns new star Nuria Aguilar and I had a lifetime experience of attending the Bring Back Mystery Science Theater screening of the first new episode at the Hollywood premiere in March where we met Joel Hodgson in person and got to meet some of the new stars of the new show, including Baron Vaghn and Jonah Ray.

Turned out Jonah and his wife are big Manos fans and even dressed up as The Master and Torgo for Halloween the year before.

When MST3k classic episodes released on Netflix just two weeks ago, Manos appeared listed as the number one episode of season one. My boyfriend was clicking around Netflix when he became a bit unnerved to see dad staring down at him.


These are the main high lights of my own Manos experiences. Other projects have been created and finished. Steven Sullivans books  and the new coloring book by Jordan Colton Manos Coloring Book and these beautiful hand painted nesting dolls.  Manos Nesting Dolls  I have my own set!

Out of overwhelmingly positive experiences for all there is a dark cloud.  If you love Manos and if you believe that things that have only found their path through the freedom of Public Domain should remain available for creativity, then please spend a few more minutes looking at our campaign to oppose one individual from having the Trademark of the title Manos The Hands of Fate.  To hear me speak on the subject, I have a short interview with the Revival League Podcast here >

Our Go Fund Me campaign is more than halfway to the goal but time is of the essence.  Please donate and share.  Any donation over $5. gets you a download of Manos Returns remake of a favorite song from the Manos soundtrack.  “Baby Do a Thing With Me” .  

Go Fund Me Manos Fate     #KeepManosFree

Couple more fun things below...just in case you haven't had enough of me for one day.

Monday, February 13, 2017

I was in The Worst Movie Ever Made

My name is Jackey Neyman Jones and I was in “The Worst Movie Ever Made”.  
I am not only one of the last surviving actors of Manos: The Hands Of Fate , but the only one willing to talk about it,  living in the belief that if I can’t be the best, I’ll make the best from the worst. 
I played Debbie, the child star of Manos.  My dad Tom Neyman played the lead role of The Master and   was Creative Director, making all the props and artwork while mom designed and sewed the iconic Masters Robe along with the wrestling wives ethereal gauzy gowns.  Our family pet, Shanka the Doberman was cast a role as The Master’s evil dog.  Even Great Grandma’s handmade quilt made an appearance on the bed, making it truly a family film to me.
Manos: The Hands of Fate is a 1966 El Paso, Texas horror movie written directed and produced by Harold Warren and often taught in film classes as “Everything Not to do in filmmaking”.  From the camera work, editing, direction, script, acting and nearly everything else, it is one of the most notably inept films in existence and yet it’s certain charm has not only captured but held a fervent fan base since a public debut on Mystery Science Theater 3000 in 1993.   Since then, Manos has inspired a wide range of talented projects including but certainly not limited to a Portland Oregon parody stage production, a Seattle Washington Puppet show “Manos The Hands of Felt, video games, two coloring books, a remastered version of the original, a prequel, and a sequel.
While November 15th 2016 marked the 50th anniversary of the disastrous premiere, a week later on November 23rd  , Manos was named the Fan Favorite of All Time  by MST3k hosts Joel Hodgson and Jonah Ray on their Annual Turkey Day Awards Marathon show. 
 I have lovingly tended to the flame of Manos for years through online connections to fans, Manos related creative projects and now my new book, Growing up with Manos The Hands of Fate with foreword written by Joel Hodgson creator of MST3K.  I also make public appearances at film festivals, conventions, book signings and screenings of the remastered version of Manos: The Hands of Fate where I share my personal memories with reminiscences of the cast and crew, telling behind-the-scenes story of Manos – from producer/director Hal Warren’s alleged bet with TV producer Stirling Silliphant that “anyone could make a movie,” to the tragic suicide of actor John Reynolds, who played Torgo, right up through the newest Manos-related projects that are carrying the film into the Internet age.  I share the story of how the original workprint was discovered and transformed to the remastered HD Blu-ray of the film.  How a Kickstarter funded indie sequel Manos Returns, produced, directed and written by women is bridging the male centric Manos of the 60’s with current fans and culture in a story that is relevant today.   I debunk myths (no, a Manos curse didn’t kill all the actors, despite the claims in the Hotel Torgo documentary), and share related pop culture facts (I also appeared as an extra in another MST3K film, “The Curse of Bigfoot”).
I am currently seeking new opportunities to share Manos with fans in various venues and at a range of events.  If this sounds interesting and if you know an event where I would be a good fit, please let me know.  Maybe I can come visit with you and Manos: The Hands of Fate fans in your area.

·         The Blue Mouse Theater   Tacoma Washington   December 2016
·         Comics Dungeon   Seattle Washington   December 2016
·         The Chicago Music Box Theater   Chicago, Illinois   November 2016
·         Bucket O Blood Bookstore   Chicago, Illinois   November 2016
·         Crypticon   Seattle Washington   May 2016
·         Seattle Independent Film Festival   Seattle Washington   August 2013
·          El Paso Classic Film Festival   El Paso Texas   August 2011
·         Hollywood Independent Film Festival  Hollywood California December 2011   


 Jackey Neyman Jones
Voice or Text  (503) 559-6291

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Manos Legal Defense Fund

Manos: The Hands of Fate is often taught in film classes as “Everything Not To Do In Filmmaking”.  From the camera work, editing, direction, script, acting and nearly everything else, it is one of the most notably inept films in existence and yet it’s certain charm has captured and held a fervent fan base since a public debut on Mystery Science Theater 3000 in 1993.  Something about it keeps bringing people back- often with friends.  “Manos” would not be “Manos” if it had not always been in the Public Domain.  Frank Conniff would not have gone against better judgement when he chose Manos to be on with Joel and the Bots if it had not been in Public Domain.  And without that, it would just have collected dust and faded away like countless other films of all genre and level of skill.

A family member of Hal Warren is attempting to trademark the title “Manos: The Hands of Fate” in order to control how it is used and whose projects are deemed acceptable.  Though never successful in copyrighting the film itself, that has not stopped him from issuing Cease and Desists to a number of Manos-inspired projects over the last few years, including Manos: The Hands of Felt, a Manos: The Hands of Fate stage adaptation, the “Manos” Restoration and Jackey Neyman Jones herself for selling shirts bearing her father’s likeness.

This legal defense fund is dedicated to preserving the free use of the film’s title and was created by Jackey Neyman Jones, (Debbie in the film and daughter of lead actor Tom Neyman), and Ben Solovey (restorer of the original film).  We are represented by Ian Friedman, Attorney at Law.

Our goal is to stop the trademark from being issued, and we are running out of time to act within the parameters of the Trademark office. The first step, filing a Letter of Protest to the USPTO, was completed on Wednesday February 1st.  The Letter of Protest will not stop the clock on the publication process, nor can we guarantee that it will be accepted. Therefore, we must now prepare for the next step: an extension filed in order to give our formal Notice of Opposition the time it needs to be submitted, accepted and applied.

Filing fees and attorney fees alone will run in excess of $7000.00, inclusive of the already-completed Letter of Protest. If money remains in the budget after we have successfully met this legal challenge, it will be used to retain Ian Friedman over a greater period of time, during which he will be able to assist any fan or creator with similar challenges to the free and legal use of “Manos: The Hands of Fate”.  As Ian likes to point out, “My daughter turned five in January recently, and I’ve been dealing with (Joe Warren) since before she was born.”

We are honored at how many people have extended their support through sharing, donating and discussion.  Please continue to help us spread the word of Manos.

Thank you for your support and #KeepManosFree

Thursday, January 26, 2017


Manos: The Hands of Fate fell into the public domain in 1966 due to Hal Warren, the film’s director, not having the film copyrighted, and the freedom of access allowed by the public domain is what eventually enabled it to find an audience. However, Joe Warren, one of Hal’s children, is now seeking to trademark the phrase “Manos: The Hands of Fate” 50 years after the fact for his exclusive use.

Manos, a low budget horror movie made by locals in El Paso, Texas, was called by Entertainment Weekly the “worst film ever made”. While that claim has always been debatable, there can be no doubt that this tale of a Texan family on a road trip running afoul of a polygamous death cult in the desert has provided a great deal of fertile ground for humor and creative inspiration ever since its release. The successful registration of this trademark would threaten the numerous incarnations of Manos: The Hands of Fate, past and present- particularly the creative works that have come from the movie being in the public domain- with legal liability for trademark infringement.

Not only will the release of the film itself in any form become vulnerable, but projects such as the independent sequel Manos Returns, the puppet adaptation Manos: The Hands of Felt, two coloring books, a video game, a memoir, Growing up With Manos The Hands Of Fate, two fiction books, multiple stage productions, and a number of creative fan projects, are now in danger.

Joe Warren has attempted, without success, to extract financial payment from numerous parties in the past incorrectly claiming “copyright infringement” on this public domain work. There is no reason to think that he will not continue the same activities if granted a trademark, however questionable it may be. We’ve seen Joe deploy these tactics against the numerous creative uses of the film since its release, and even against the restoration and preservation of the film itself.

This trademark was recently approved for publication. Due to Mr. Warren filing an Intent to Use 1(b) Trademark Application (in other words, he has not shown any use of the mark yet), the typical scrutiny given to a 1(a) Trademark Application (one that shows actual use of the mark in commerce) for a Title of a Single Work is not present. However, the window for an outside party to challenge the mark does not change, and there is no further opportunity for opposition from outside parties after this initial publication period.

An initial Letter of Protest will be filed shortly with the US Patent and Trademark Office- however, due to USPTO rules, it will be necessary to gain an extension to file the Notice of Opposition once the mark is published for opposition at the end of February.  We hope the Letter of Protest will be enough to prevent registration, but there is no guarantee that it will be granted and the scope of issues allowed to be addressed by the Letter of Protest are limited.  Filing a Notice of Opposition is extremely costly. The total cost of Attorney Fees for the Notice of Opposition, the extension, and all filing fees is estimated to be around $7,000. Additional funds will further help us offset the costs involved.

Simply put, we have one brief chance to fix this problem, and we will need your support in this battle if we want to see it through.  Jackey Neyman Jones (child star of the film and daughter of lead actor Tom Neyman)  and Benjamin Solovey (producer of the Manos: The Hands of Fate restoration) have established a legal fund to cover the filing fees and attorney’s costs to protect the right to access for all. This case will be handled by Ian K. Friedman, Esq., an Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Attorney who has come to the defense of the film’s public domain status in the past. If you have enjoyed any of the free and legal uses of “Manos: The Hands of Fate” over the years, we hope you’ll help us to protect past, present and future access to the film and title by contributing to it.

GoFundMe Legal Defense

Please help spread the word and  #KeepManosFree

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Manos is Permanent!

Manos is Permanent!...or so it seems.  Fifty years now since the year Manos was first created and then fizzled out in a grand spectacle of humiliation.  Most everyone who had anything to do with it preferred to go on with little to no mention of it at all.  Many of them successfully completed their time on this earth doing just that.  Most everyone except for one observant kid.  She just couldn't let it go and carried the memories and stories with her through her young life.  If fact, this child grew up to be a woman and still carried those stories with her and shared them with friends from time to time. She kept them alive as one does with precious memories, knowing them never to be re-lived.

Many years went by.  Twenty seven of them to be exact, and then something strange happened. Practically a lightning strike kind of a thing.  A lottery win kind of thing.  A small cable television program in the wilds of Minnesota unearthed that long lost and rarely seen film to a open and willing audience.  And suddenly the movie that ran a cast and crew out of a theatrical premier in shame became a beloved hit.  A funny sort of hit but one nonetheless.  Many more years went by and the interest, fascination and love for it grew and grew until 50 years from the 1966 premier.  The 50th year of 2016 has seen a number of notable markers.  Especially for me personally.

Aside from Manos and because of it, I was in three films this year.


My book  Growing Up With Manos: The Hands Of Fate: How I was the child star and lived to tell the story was released end of March with a foreward by Joel Hodgson and an epilogue by my dad, The Master himself.

   Five months later, after a successful Kickstarter,  we filmed our sequel  Manos Returns with a talented group of actors, crew and filmmakers.  We began actually shooting on July 23rd and ended 10 very long days later. The Manos Returns  legacy cast includes my dad returning as The Master, Diane Mahree as Margaret and me as grown up pissed off Debbie, all fifty years later.  Bryan Jennings who's father played the original Sheriff is our Sheriff and Nicki Mathis the original female vocalist on the soundtrack has reprised her songs Forgetting You and Love Inside This Magic Circle both available for your listening and purchasing pleasure  on Bandcamp. In the midst of production we had a cast and crew party as part of our Kickstarter reward for our very special backers who earned the right to be part of the movie. My dad came to that party and for one grand moment in his life, he truly got to receive and absorb the love people have for Manos and for him.

                                                   Tom, Diane, Bryan and Jackey

 Manos Returns is in post production and will be released in 2017 to the public after screening it at a few upcoming film festivals.  It's coming along beautifully and we are all really happy with the level of talent, support and resources the the Primal God Manos seemed to have arranged to help us make something we will be proud of.  Check out our Teaser Trailer Here

Over the years since Manos: The Hands of Fate was shown on Mst3k in January 1993, I have had the honor to participate in Manos driven projects and have attended a few screenings but this year was my first as a celebrity guest at a fan convention.  I appeared at Crypticon Seattle in May and found an opportunity to chat with one of my favorite celebrities Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira: Mistress of the Dark.  We traded when I gave her a signed copy of my book and she gave me a signed photo while telling me that Manos is her favorite bad film. She asked questions about John Reynolds/Torgo and wanted me to say hi to my dad.  It was truly a golden moment in a shining weekend and I had a little geek out dance once I walked away around the corner safely out of eyesight.

On November first, I took my dad and youngest sister to a screening of Manos: Restored at The Darkside Cinema in Corvallis Oregon.  The Darkside is a small community theater and it was a low key event, but for me, it was really special because it was the first and only time since the 1966 premier that dad and I watched Manos The Hands of Fate together in a movie theater.  Joe Sherlock Director of Photography for Manos Returns was there and we got a great photo in the lobby together with dad wearing one of the fan made Manos tshirts I bought him.

On November 11th I appeared onstage Chicago Music Box Theater to introduce the beautifully restored Manos The Hands of Fate, to talk about my family's role in the original film and our involvement in the popular resurgence of the last twenty three years.
I took part on a panel that included my co author Laura Mazucca Toops, Jeremy Guidry (Son of Bob Guidry Manos original DOP), vocalist Nicki Mathis and was moderated by Ian Simmons.

I signed books and met face to face with fans in the lobby before and after the show.  All in all, a truly magical evening.
The next day, Saturday was a day off to see some of the beautiful city of Chicago and prepare for my Bucket O Blood booksigning for Sunday afternoon.  Early Saturday evening, I got a message from my fathers neighbor that the EMT's had been at his house and taken him to the hospital.  For the next few hours, I sat in my hotel room 2,193 miles away trying to get more information, eeventually receiving a call from the hospital charge nurse saying they needed permission to call code and were unable to reach anyone else.  That all became a moot point when the nurse said if she were with me, she would give me a big hug.  It was over.  His heart was done and I was not prepared.  You never can be.
The next morning on the 13th, I determined I had to go ahead with the scheduled book signing and podcast interview that afternoon and set about trying to let everyone know so I wouldn't have to explain it raw at the event.  Rough day, but I knew dad would have wanted me to go ahead with the plan.

Most who came were informed and offered hugs and prayers.  Others were happy to meet me and wanted photos with Debbie from Manos so I obliged with a pale face, puffy eyes and somewhat lesser smile than usual, hoping they were OK with that.  They were.

Once the signing wrapped up, Ian Simmons, Laura and I went to another room for our interview.  The initial intention and direction shifted as it became a beautiful tribute podcast to Tom Neyman.  I could almost feel him sitting with me as we talked about him.

                                                          Click for Podcast below

                                                  Kickseat Episode 169

I traveled home on the 14th just wanting to hide somewhere and be alone and then the next day was the long awaited 50th Anniversary of Manos: The Hands of Fate since it premierde on November 15th 1966.  It was a quiet day of accepting the countless offers of condolence and support.  Sadness and comfort all in one.  The 23rd of November would have been his eighty first birthday and on the 24th, The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Turkey Day Marathon announced Manos: The Hands of Fate as the MST3k All Time Fan Favorite.

Since then, of course the Holidays and New Years and all that goes along when you celebrate these things and have family.  So much reflection this time of year as many do.  For me, the events of the past year and especially the last two months have created new determination and purpose.  Time is always too short.  There are always excuses to to not do something.  Through the dark there is light.
I have been playing this Manos game for many years and I've had incredible experiences and great fun while meeting the most creative diverse and joyful people imaginable.  Through it all I've been a single mom and self employed artist,  I bought a 100 year old home on an acre and half in a tiny Western Oregon town in which to raise my boys.  The only income the fame of Manos has ever provided me is what I created myself through merchandising tshirts and things I make (I am an artist, after all), and believe me, it doesn't pay many, if any bills.  I have donated my time to people and causes longer than I can remember.  In my town, I was on the school board for 4 years and I spearheaded and ran our community Arts Center for 16 month until it fell apart due to lack of funding.  I've always been for others while seeking my own bliss because it was blissful to watch other flourish, but for us, it's always been a struggle and it's time for that to change because I may have finally learned that the Greater Good includes me too.  When I flourish, those around me can too.
                              My sister Juli, grandson Jayce, Dad, Me and my eldest son Jack

I will honor myself while there is still time and I will honor my dad's memory in ways he never could do for himself.  I'l give you The Plan in my next post.  Stay tuned!

May you and your loved ones be Blessed in this New Year!

Love, Jackey